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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 20, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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news is coming up next >> we will leave you now with a picture of the traffic right now at >> pelley: tonight, a new forecast on which way the economy is headed. the federal reserve says it was wrong about unemployment and growth as it issues a new prediction. anthony mason and bill whitaker on the economy. a congressional committee votes to hold america's top law enforcement officer in contempt of congress. what does the attorney general know about a failed gun investigation? nancy cordes and sharyl atkinson has the story. on the first day the summer, the east boils, the midwest floods, and in one town animals swim out of a zoo. and they tackled her when she snuck into the boston marathon. michelle miller with the athlete who changed history, proving a woman's place is in the race. >> there isn't a girl in this country who should grow up with
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a sense of limitation. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. we have been struggling through the weakest economic recovery the u.s. has seen, and today, the federal reserve projected under sluggish growth and high unemployment ahead. the fed said its last forecast back in april was too optimistic. here's how the outlook for next year, 2013, has changed. the fed had expected growth in the economy to be as little as 2.7%. but today, it revised that down to as little as 2.2% growth. in april, the fed projected unemployment might stay as high as 7.7%. but today, it revised that up to a high of 8.0. the chairman of the fed said today he will try once again to jolt the economy out of neutral.
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we have two reports on jobs tonight. we're going to go first to anthony mason on what the fed is doing now. >> reporter: scott, the fed moved today to push interest rates, already at record lows, even lower. chairman ben bernanke wants to reduce borrowing costs for businesses and consumers to keep the economy from stalling again. >> underlying all this, of course, is the fact that the outlook has changed. like many other forecasters, the federal reserve was too optimistic early in the recovery. >> reporter: in lowering its forecast for hiring, the fed estimates the unemployment rate, now 8.2%, will have barely dropped by the end of the year. and even two years from now, by the end of 2014, we'll have fallen less than a percentage point. job growth has slowed sharply in recent months and a survey of
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c.e.o.s shows fewer companies plan to hire in the next half year. 36% say they'll add workers, down from 42% in the last survey. the financial crisis spreading through europe, our biggest trading partner, has spooked both employers and the markets. >> i do think that the european situation is slowing u.s. economic growth. >> reporter: and what if the situation in europe doesn't get better, bernanke was asked? >> well, we hope it doesn't get worse. but we are prepared, in case things get worse, to protect the u.s. economy and the u.s. financial system. >> reporter: the slowing global economy has helped push down oil prices, which have hit their lowest levels in six months, and one leading analyst predicted price of a gallon of gas could fall below $3 by the end of the year. >> pelley: anthony, there's a lot of uncertainty ahead. at the end of the year, will congress extend the bush tax cuts? can they reach a deal on the budget sealing? what did the chairman say about
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the end of the year? >> reporter: scott, he sees that as a headwind, too, and made a point of saying congress needs to act. whatever they're going to do, they need to act because that uncertainty will weigh in on the economy as the year comes to an end. >> pelley: anthony, thanks. the slow economy is squeezing state budgets, and now many can't find the money to pay the pensions that they have already promised public employees. nationwide, all together, public pension plans are more than $1 trillion short. we asked bill whitaker to tell us more about this pension crisis. >> reporter: 47-year-old paula ready is a child support officer for san bernardino county, california. her 16-year-old son, jacob, has autism and will need care the rest of his life. >> i'm taller, see? >> reporter: she has paid into the state and county pension plan for 16 years, but now with government officials slashing jobs and benefits, she fears that safety net won't be there when she and jacob need it. >> i wonder how i'll be able to pay the cost of his medical insurance premium or his medicine or anything like that to provide for him when he's an
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adult. >> reporter: are you scared? >> very. >> reporter: the state of california has a gap of more than $516 billion between what's been promised state employees and money on hand to meet requirement obligations. california is better off than most states. it has 78% of the money it's promised for pensions, butting according to a report this week by the pew center on the states, illinois has just 45%, rhode island only 49%. >> in good times and in bad times, states were kicking the can down the road. >> reporter: kil huh wrote the pew report. he said the state was counting on continued stock market gains to cover pension shortfalls. >> it was not uncommon for states to shortchange or skip payments all together, and when investment returns were quite good, states felt they could basically invest their way to full funding. >> reporter: it was a hard lesson for the university of california. when the bottom fell out of the stock market, the 10-campus system was forced to raise tuition, cut classes and staff to meet growing pension command demands. >> i don't think our children
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should have to pay for these high pensions that are giving us nothing in return. >> while i'm proud to be a public employee, i'm not a volunteer. we deserve some degree of security and knowing there will be a system in place to provide for us when we're no longer able to work anymore. >> reporter: scott, i'm in downtown los angeles, where state and federal workers are gathering to protest pension and budget cuts. they say they've already made substantial concessions, but with baby boomers now hitting retirement age, this is a problem not going away soon. >> pelley: bill, thank you. in washington today, a house committee took a rare step, voting to hold attorney general eric holder contempt of congress. holder declined to hand over some documents related to an operation known as fast and furious. in that undercover-up operation, agents watched guns sold to traffickers in the hope of
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tracking those guns to mexican drug cartels. congressional correspondent nancy cordes was at today's vote. >> reporter: the contempt vote against holder went forward despite a last-minute attempt by the white house to prevent it by invoking executive privilege to shield the justice department documents at the heart of this dispute. but darrell issa, the chair of the government oversight committee, said the time for such movers had passed. >> the frustration of this committee in not getting documents for a year and a half must be satisfied today. >> reporter: issa wants internal department of justice e-mails to help him determine whether the department was trying to cover up fast and furious when it initially denied the operation's existence in february 2011. attorney general holder has said it was an honest mistake and that the department was misled by the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, the agency behind the ill-conceived operation that allowed american guns to flow into mexico in an attempt to infiltrate drug cartels.
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democrats called issa's move today an election year witch- hunt noting attorney general holder has already handed over 7,600 pages of documents. new york's edolphus towns. >> i could see if it was a situation where the attorney general was not responding. but he's been up here nine times testifying. >> reporter: last night, issa rejected holder's offer to hand over more documents, sensitive information holder said he would not give up unless the committee commits to an end of the investigation. >> it is our hope that we can somehow find a way through this. the offer that we made is still there. >> reporter: a full house vote on criminal contempt charges has been scheduled for next week, and if it passes, the matter would then be handed over to the local u.s. attorney, and, scott, he's unlikely to move to prosecute his own boss, eric holder, so that's likely about as far as this will go.
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>> pelley: nancy, thank you. you know, we were curious about which presidents invoke executive privilege the most. research department tells us every president, including washington, has tried to keep information from congress. in modern times, richard nixon invoked executive privilege six times, half of those over the watergate investigation. president george w. bush, also six times, and bill clinton, 14 times, about half of those involving investigations of the president's personal conduct. the undercover operation at the heart of this dispute was the subject of a cbs news investigation. sharyl attkisson broke the story on fast and furious and we asked her to remind us how this controversy started. >> reporter: in late 2009, a.t.f. agents in phoenix noticed a flurry of gun purchases in the united states by suspected traffickers from mexican drug cartels, including giant, 50- caliber rifles. but instead of stopping the
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weapons, agents say their superiors ordered them to let the guns cross the border. it's called gun walking, to see where they ended up and see if they would lead to a major drug cartel leader. agents videotaped suspected dealers from mexican drug cartels buying weapons. the case grew to include thousands of weapons. then in december 2010, two fast and furious rifles turned up at the murder of a border patrol agent in arizona, brian terry. the justice department publicly insisted no gun walking had gone on. that denial prompted one of the lead agents on the case, john dodson, to step forward and speak to cbs news. >> here i am. tell me i didn't do the things that i did. tell me you didn't order me to do the things that i did. tell me it didn't happen. now you have a name on it and you have a face to put it with. here i am. someone now tell me it didn't happen. >> reporter: cbs news learned
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there were other alleged gun walking operations dating back to the bush administration in 2005. no drug kingpins were ever arrested, but the drug cartels became well armed. records obtained by cbs news show the weapons were used in a u.s. immigration agent's murder last year in mexico. they were also used by drug cartels that assassinated a mexican official's brother and attacked two mexican government helicopters. many of these guns will be on the streets for years to come. according to the justice department, any so-called gun walking operations have now been stopped. holder issued an internal directive after the story broke saying, "we should not design or conduct undercover operations, which include guns crossing the border. scott. >> pelley: sharyl, thank you. in afghanistan today, three american soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a military check point in the eastern city of khost, a taliban
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stronghold. has been other people were killed in that attack, mostly civilians. there is more unrest tonight in egypt, where officials delayed announcing the winner of last weekend's presidential election. thousands gathered again in cairo's tahrir square demanding that the military release its grip on power. ousted dictator hosni mubarak, who was said yesterday to be near death, is still alive and remains in a military hospital. the defense rests in the trial of jerry sandusky. catholic nuns on the road, supporting the poor and deifying the vatican. and floodwaters wash out a zoo. when the "cbs evening news" continues. [ woman ] we take it a day at a time.
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duluth joining us now. bill, what have you seen there today? >> reporter: well, good news, scott, is the rain has stopped for now but the flooding hasn't. as you can see behind me, man- hole covers have popped off because the storm sewer systems have been overtaken by the floodwaters, so the street flooding continues. what we saw today was a terrific amount of rain that came washing down the hill sides. that's the city's greatest attribute, this port city of lake superior, but it became a detriment last night as all that rain washed away the road beds, filled the basins with water, you should mined bridges and roads, left a lot of sinkholes. a young college student driving home about 12:30 in the morning and suddenly their car fell right into this large sinkhole. they were able to escape unharmed. some zoo animals weren't so fortunate, however. seals were found swimming around on local streets so it is a mess wherever you look here in duluth, scott. >> pelley: they have had nine
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inches of rain in 24 hours. what's the forecast? >> well, it has stopped for now. they were expecting maybe one, two, three inches more rainfall, but they say if the rain stops, they don't get any more, things should start improving by tomorrow morning. they can go around and start assessing the damage and beginning the cleanup. >> pelley: bill hudson of wcco, thanks very much. the nuns on the bus. they have a message that the vatican doesn't want to hear. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. talk to your doctor about nexium. an intense burning sensation i woke up with this horrible rash on my right side. like somebody had set it on fire. and the doctor said, cindie, you have shingles. he said, you had chickenpox when you were a little girl... i said, yes, i did.
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>> pelley: a bus carrying roman catholic nuns on a nine-state tour pulled into chicago this evening after making several stops in wisconsin. the nuns on the bus are protesting cuts in federal programs for the poor, but the tour is also a response to criticism from the vatican, and we asked dean reynolds to look into it. >> reporter: you seem to be under siege. >> oh, well, into every life a little rain must come. >> reporter: sister simone campbell is a roman catholic nun, leader of network, a liberal social justice lobby in washington, and a bit of a provocateur. >> catholic sisters have always been out on the edge, and quite frankly, we have a long history of kind of annoying the central authority. >> reporter: the central authority they've recently annoyed is the vatican itself. in april, sister simone's group,
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and the leadership conference of women religious, representing 80% of the nation's nuns, were attacked by the church hierarchy for focusing too much of their work on poverty and economic justice while being silent on abortion and same-sex marriage. do you plead guilty to that? >> well, i mean, part of it that i spend too much time working for people in poverty, i wear that as a badge of honor. >> reporter: the vatican has appointed a bishop to correct what the church calls serious doctrinal problems in the way the nuns work. you've been called radical feminists, though. >> i know, i know. >> reporter: are you radical feminists? >> oh, my heavens, i actually have to laugh. we are strong women. we're educated women. we ask questions. we engage in dialogue. that's all we do is stay faithful to the gospel and live it. in living it you break it down, you ask questions, it's fabulous. >> reporter: so sister simone has doubled down, launching this bus tour in what can only be seen as a retort to rome. >> we need to be responsible.
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>> reporter: the sisters are focusing on social issues all along the way, holding press conferences and staging protests against the proposed budget cuts which they say will endanger those most in need. ♪ in the name of the lord ♪. >> reporter: at the starting line in iowa, there was no talk of same-sex marriage. >> the truth is, we have to speak up for the people who are suffering in our society. that's our mission. that's our goal. that's what jesus would do. that's the gospel. >> reporter: and off they went, the daughters of charity, the sisters of mercy and others, barreling down the back roads and not slowing down. dean reynolds, cbs news, janesville, wisconsin. >> pelley: in san francisco this evening, a huge fire broke out on the waterfront. it quickly grew to four alarms on pier 29 being redeveloped for the yacht races. no one has been hurt so far. there was a time when women had to fight for a place in the race. the woman who changed that next.
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>> reporter: katherine switzer has been running for 53 years, but one race early in her career changed the course of her life and millions of others. >> in 1967, i had trained for the boston marathon, and my coach inspired me, and he didn't believe a woman could run the marathon distance. >> reporter: your own coach didn't? >> my own coach didn't. and that was the prevailing thinking, if a woman became an athlete she was going to get big legs, grow hair on her chest and never have children. >> reporter: switzer entered the race under her initials. her coach picked up her official number and there was utter shock when she appeared in the field of men. >> the race director who saw this whole thing lost his temper and chase me down the street and attacked me and screamed, "get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers" and tried to rip the bib numbers off of me. and my boyfriend smacked the official and knocked him out of the race and down the street i went. when i finished the race i felt better than i did at the start. i felt so great. i had a life plan and really it
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was to create opportunities for other women in the sports. >> reporter: so began switzer's marathon to clear the way for female runners. were you aware that there was a fight for equal access in sports? >> i was aware that congress was fighting for women's rights in education and in jobs. and i thought that was absolutely fantastic. of course, i had no idea that it was going to apply to sports. >> reporter: that fight in congress resulted in title ix which said schools had to open all of their activities, including sports, to both genders. >> title ix has changed the landscape. there isn't a girl in this country who should grow up with a sense of limitation. >> reporter: one of those girls who cleared the lanes for women was joan benoit samuelson. in 1984, she won the gold medal in the first olympic women's marathon. >> when i first started running in the early 1970s, a woman
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couldn't run more than 1,500 meters in national and international competition, so 150,000 miles and 40 years later, i'm still-- still running. >> reporter: when benoit samuelson broke the tape, katherine switzer was the tv commentator for the race. >> when joan benoit came through that stadium and ran it so well, people from all over the world were very convinced about women's capability. >> reporter: at 65, switzer is training for her 40th marathon with plans to return to boston. when she does, she may still be able to outrun the race director, but this time, she'll have competition for more than 10,000 other women who have
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>> the evening. we start with breaking news, flames engulfing a piece of san francisco's iconic waterfront. this intense for alarm fire broke out at pier 29 and cause the front of the building to collapse. >> it was being renovated to host the america's cup sailing race. the fire is contained but the building is a mess and so is the traffic. it is bumper to bumper on the embarcadero and mass transit is also affected. >> the flames were 20 ft. in the air, you could see them from three counties. the fire is out now but they are still dousing it for hours later. it was a tough fight. >> is irreplaceable >> the iconic markey facade that was


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